Skip to main content

Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

See other formats


TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

wheelbarrow, the lawn-mower, the sound of poplar
trees, leaves whitening before rain, rooks cawing,
brooms knocking, dresses rustling—all these
were so coloured and distinguished in his mind
that he had already his private code, his secret
language, though he appeared the image of stark
and uncompromising severity, with his high fore-
head and his fierce blue eyes, impeccably candid
and pure, frowning slightly at the sight of human
frailty, so that his mother, watching him guide
his scissors neatly round the refrigerator, imagined
him all red and ermine on the Bench or directing
a stern and momentous enterprise in some crisis
of public affairs.

" But," said his father, stopping in front of
the drawing-room window, " it won't be fine."

Had there been an axe handy, a poker, or any
weapon that would have gashed a hole in his
father's breast and killed him, there and then,
James would have seized it* Such were the
extremes of emotion that Mr. Ramsay excited
in his children's breasts by his mere presence;
standing, as now, lean as a knife, narrow as the
blade of one, grinning sarcastically, not only with
the pleasure of disillusioning his son and casting
ridicule upon his wife, who was ten thousand
times better in every way than he was (James
thought), but also with some secret conceit at his

12